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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The Hunted Squirrel

By William Browne (c. 1590–c. 1645)

From ‘Britannia’s Pastorals’

THEN as a nimble squirrel from the wood

Ranging the hedges for his filbert food

Sits pertly on a bough, his brown nuts cracking,

And from the shell the sweet white kernel taking;

Till with their crooks and bags a sort of boys

To share with him come with so great a noise

That he is forced to leave a nut nigh broke,

And for his life leap to a neighbor oak,

Thence to a beach, thence to a row of ashes;

Whilst through the quagmires and red water plashes

The boys run dabbling through thick and thin;

One tears his hose, another breaks his shin;

This, torn and tattered, hath with much ado

Got by the briars; and that hath lost his shoe;

This drops his band; that headlong falls for haste;

Another cries behind for being last:

With sticks and stones and many a sounding holloa

The little fool with no small sport they follow,

Whilst he from tree to tree, from spray to spray

Gets to the woods and hides him in his dray.